Dambudzo Marechera and the Zimbabwe Elections

Sometime in 1986 Dambudzo Marechera wrote a series of poems entitled "There's a Dissident in the Election Soup". These poems make up Chapter 11 of the post-humously published Cemetry of Mind, compiled and edited by Flora Veit-Wild. Since Zimbabweans are voting on Saturday, March 29, it is important to ponder upon what Marechera had to … Continue reading Dambudzo Marechera and the Zimbabwe Elections

Poetry and its Readers

In his Poetry Home Repair Manual, Ted Kooser advises poets to remember that poetry uses language, which is meant to enable communication with other people. He aptly describes the poet's job as not involving writing works only the poet can understand, but ones that make sense to the reader. On the same day I read … Continue reading Poetry and its Readers

Digital Libraries Devaluing Literature?

So I hear some former and current graduate students of the Iowa Writers' Workshop are enraged by the university's plan to digitalize MFA theses. So I hear some former and current graduate students of the Iowa Writers' Workshop are mad about the university's plan to digitalize MFA theses. These texts, improperly named "theses" since they are … Continue reading Digital Libraries Devaluing Literature?

Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Words of Wisdom

I have said it elsewhere, and I will say it again: I prefer getting my knowledge about nations and their cultures from creative writers. Art is able to capture aspects of life that the popular media has not learned to capture. I often trust that writers delve deeper (they better if they want to have … Continue reading Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Words of Wisdom

Reading Literature & Relating

When I read Thomas Hardy at a rural secondary school in Zimbabwe, my teachers expected me to relate to the characters, to understand them as part my reality in life. Of course, we were aware that reading these books was a way to travel to worlds far away from ours, but then by the time we finished reading … Continue reading Reading Literature & Relating